On Sunday evening, February 28, 2010 members of our Danzón class gathered for the 30 minute bus ride to Pedro Escobedo, where we had been invited to present a Danzón program. Our instructor, Rubén, had prepared a program that included three "rutinas" - numbers choreographed to specific recorded performances of the danzones "Alejandro Jara", "Desden", and "Pedacito de Cielo", as well as a number of other danzones that we performed "libre" (each couple dances spontaneous sets of Danzón patterns). Lois and I did not have the official costumes (black suit, light green tie for me; light green or red chiffon dress for Lois) but we were invited to perform anyway with a generic costume (white guayabera for me; dark blue full skirt and white blouse for Lois). I bought a nice white guayabera in the market, and Lois borrowed a blue skirt from a member of the class when she could not find one in town that fit. She did find a white blouse to buy. So we were all set. Here's how we looked (when the performance was over):
We performed in the Plaza Principal of the town of Pedro Escobedo. Our friend Agustin (he has been very helpful in teaching us) was the master of ceremonies. Lois and I danced one of the "rutinas" - Alejandro Jara, as well as two of the "libre" danzones. This video shows one section of the "Desden" danzón:
Lois and I are well along in learning "Desden", but not yet ready for performing it. At the conclusion of the program, Rubén encouraged all class members to choose a partner from the audience for another "libre" danzón. Both Lois and I danced with young people who did not have danzón experience, but they were enthusiastic about giving it a try. When a second open dance was called, I danced with Myrtha, another member of our class:
Finally, our Pedro Escobedo hosts presented Rubén and his wife Juanita with a small sculpture in recognition of their appreciation. They also provided sandwiches and juice drinks to all the dancers.
Juanita and Rubén
This event was definitely a highlight of our season in Queretaro this year! We are delighted to be welcomed and included in this little community of dancers. Members of the class have been exceedingly kind and helpful to us. Both Rubén and Juanita have given us excellent and patient instruction.